Xcel seeks cancellation of Goodhue wind purchase

Xcel Energy is asking a court to throw out purchase agreements with the New Era Wind company over a project in Goodhue County that has been stalled for more than four years.

During that time, New Era Wind has tried to obtain approval to build 48 wind turbines on about 50 square-miles of land in Goodhue County. But opposition to the size of the project and the impact it could have on eagles and other wildlife has stymied the project for years.

According to the lawsuit filed in Hennepin county, Xcel says New Era Wind failed to meet a commercial operating deadline of December 2011. The complaint also argues New Era failed to meet a deadline to secure financing for the project and did not notify Xcel when the company changed owners in 2012.

Opposition from local residents has led to the lawsuit, said Todd Guerrero, attorney for New Era Wind.

"Is the project a go? I'm not sure. They've got a couple of hurdles they've got to get through, including now a lawsuit," Guerrero said. "Certainly they would like to continue to move forward with the project."

New Era Wind has until July 8 to respond to the lawsuit, Guerrero said.

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